Joseph Altuzarra’s latest collection was slightly masculine in allure and very graphic. He credited Corto Maltese, the famed comic book character popular in the 1960s and 1970s. Corto is an adventurer, a free spirited sailor who travels the world and romances many.
Styling-wise, he played-up the adventurer’s personal preference for tall black boots, pants and torso-hugging jackets with pronounced lapels (the Maltese silhouette carries a retro 1820s vibe, if you’re into historical trivia).
This reference wasn’t lost on his runway looks, with many jackets carrying a somewhat menswear uniform quality, not necessarily marine in spirit, but definitely sharp at the shoulder and tailored.
Once you know the Corto Maltese reference, the line-up makes much more sense. The graphic aspects are strong and carry through the many looks, from skirts to tops, with various prints and surface treatments including spectacular embroideries.
At the end of the day, Altuzarra tried to convey a message based more on the visual impact of the individual garment than on complete ensembles; the line-up read much more like “which piece shall I wear” than “I want it all.” Still, the collection had an addictive comic book vibe to it that was fun and engaging.
The fur pieces came and went throughout the collection; sometimes somewhat incognito, as in the sash-like belts, and at other times very dramatic, as in his statement-making outerwear.
In the end, this was one of our favorite collections of New York Fashion week.
Altuzarra Fall 2012-Winter 2013 Video here